No plans yet for cuts in electricity rate in PNG

The State-owned energy supplier, PNG Power does not have any plans to subsidise power rate to its users because of the cost involved in producing and supplying electricity.
Minister for Public Enterprise and State Investments William Duma said during question time in Parliament yesterday that the economics of running and operating the ageing hydro facilities and the diesel powered generators for power needs in the country is unviable, and cannot allow for any subsidized or reduced rates.
Mr Duma said PNG Power Limited has not been performing well as a result of issues like the inability and incapability of management and the ageing assets and other infrastructure, and the huge costs of operation.
However he said PNG Power can make a turnover if there is no nepotism and if there is no influence in the operation and recruitment process.
He added they are also working to restructure the company to make it profitable by rehabilitating and putting in good management to make a turnover.
He said in the future there is a need to look at the privatisation of the institution.
The Minister said these when responding to questions without notice from the MP for Ijivitari Richard Masare.
Mr Masere said if PNG Power can reduce night electricity rates on manufacturing and agricultural operations and if they can also look at the high cost of electricity in the rural areas and towns, and if they have any plan for green energy rollout in the country.
Duma said PNG Power relies on hydro and diesel generators in the country, but running these two medium involved a lot of cost.
He said running diesel generators is very expensive given the cost of fuel while hydro in the country have been built in the 1960s, and the outdated assets have never had any maintenance and rehabilitations over the years, resulting in poor performance, including the frequent power interruptions.
“PNG power is in a situation where we have the outdated, ineffective assets like the hydro facilities and expensive diesel generators; therefore it is not possible to help our people, the downstream processing industries and the agro industries in the country. Even the green energy is even expensive,” Mr Duma said.
Unfortunately PNG Power does not have any plans to subsidise rate for power. Even to subsidise it, it is uneconomical.
“We need to rehabilitate, Pauanda in Southern Highlands and the Ramu 1 hydro while the Government has given the approval for the Ramu 2 project.”
Mr Duma said PNG Power can enter into partnership with private entities wanting to provide energy like PNG power agreement with Oil Search and Kumul Petroleum Holding Limited to purchase power to supply the demand in Port Moresby.  Post Courier

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